Role And Significance Of Beveridge Report

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Role and Significance of Beveridge Report

Role and Significance of Beveridge Report

Beveridge Report and its Historical Context

The Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services, known commonly as the Beveridge Report was an influential document in the founding of the Welfare State in the United Kingdom. It was chaired by William Beveridge, an economist, who identified five "Giant Evils" in society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease, and went on to propose widespread reform to the system of social welfare to address these. Highly popular with the public, the report formed the basis for the post-war reforms known as the Welfare State, which include the expansion of National Insurance and the creation of the National Health Service.

The United Kingdom is a unitary state in which central government substantially directs most government activity. However, the structure of services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland differs in certain respects. Each region has both a Secretary of State and administrative department situated in central government, and its own assembly and executive, which take on the role in the region of certain central government ministries. The laws which apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland are different from those in England and Wales. (Beveridge 1942) The Scottish parliament has in consequence very much more influence than the Welsh Parliament, and the Scottish Government (a name confusingly used for both government and executive) has the role of a civil service for Scotland, with a social policy in its own right. The administrative structure in Northern Ireland is significantly different: personal social services are the responsibility of the Health Board (as they are in the Republic of Ireland), and public housing is managed by Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

This framework changes frequently. The most important changes in recent years have been the reformation of the Department of Social Security into the Department of Work and Pensions, the significant transfer of income maintenance to the Inland Revenue (now HMRC, for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs), and the demolition of the Department of Transport, the Regions and Local Government, whose key social policy responsibilities were placed in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and have now been relocated mainly into Communities and Local Government.

The main government departments dealing with social policy in the UK






Primary legislation

The Scottish Parliament; the Welsh Parliament; the Northern Ireland Assembly

Local authoritiesLondon boroughs

Cabinet Office

Public service reform



The Treasury

Economic policyGovernment finance

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (taxation; tax credits and social security contributions)

Department of Health

Health careSocial Services

National Health Service

Community care

Department for Work and Pensions

National InsuranceSocial AssistanceEmployment

Pensions, Disability and Carers Service (formerly the Benefits Agency); JobCentre Plus (formerly Benefits Agency/ Employment Service)


Department for Communities and Local Government

Local government; Urban policy; Housing

Planning; housing; environmental health

Ministry of Justice

Law and order

Probation service; immigration service; prisons

Police Fire

Department for Education



Schools; Education welfare; Learning disability (5-18); children's services

The administration of welfare in the UK

The administration of ...
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